Growing Pains are the pains that cause children to wake up from their sleep complaining of pain, aching or burning sensations in their legs, and occasionally their arms. Most commonly the pain is felt in the child’s thighs, calf muscles, shins or their knees. Growing pains are very common in children, especially children of primary school age.
Growing pains affect around 20 percent of all children and the underlying cause of pain is muscular. During periods of sudden growth, the bones develop and grow faster than muscle, placing the muscles under increased stretch and tension resulting in a pull on the bones.
What are the symptoms of growing pains
- Local pain around muscle attachment points around the knee, shins or heel
- Can include night pain, an ache or burning pain
- Pain during activity and this may decrease as your child ‘warms up’
- Limping during activity or for periods following activity
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy can be used to alleviate the pain. Massaging the legs can help to loosen up the muscles and make it easier for them to stretch out, thus reducing the pain the child will experience. Hot baths in the evening may also help to loosen the muscles, as can applying a heat pad to the affected areas.
Stretches are by far the most effective way to reduce the pain. Our physiotherapists can assess your child so the best exercises and stretches can be identified and will determine which muscles are the most problematic. It is important for a physiotherapist to be involved in this process, as simply doing general stretches could exercise the wrong muscles and in turn could cause the pain to become even worse.
If you think your child may be experiencing growing pains our Physiotherapists at Home Physio Group can create a custom program for your child.
For more information please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.